What items need to be packed into boxes for your move

Christopher Noblit
Packing supplies & boxes

So you're moving to a new home and you don't completely understand exactly which household articles need to be packed into boxes for your move. Generally, the answer is that everything needs to be packed into boxes, except for indoor and outdoor furniture which professional movers will protect with pads and furniture quilts (as shown below).

Articles which need to be packed into boxes include (but are not limited to) the following list of household items…

  • Books
  • Magazines
  • CD's & DVD's
  • Table Lamps
  • Lamp Shades
  • Chandeliers
  • Bedding
  • Pillows
  • Pictures
  • Mirrors
  • Marble Tops
  • Glass Tops
  • Flat Screen TV's
  • Linens
  • Dishes
  • Collectibles
  • Counter Top Appliances
  • Computer Equipment
  • Audio Equipment
  • Printers
  • Trophies
  • Pots & Pans
  • And any other article which might be considered fragile in nature

Boxes can be procured from a number of sources including your mover, a grocery store, or a home center such as Home Depot or Lowe's. It is better to purchase uniform size boxes because movers stack boxes inside the truck (as shown below) and uniform box sizes allow your mover to create more uniform loads which better protect your shipment. A quick tip: do not use plastic tote or tub containers as explained in this FAQ.

In addition it should be noted that no mover in America will be responsible for damage to contents of an owner pack box. Movers call these boxes "PBO" cartons (which stands for "Packed by Qwner"). However, if the mover packs the box then the mover will be fully responsible for damage to the contents of the box which they packed (in accordance with the type of loss/damage liability which you have selected for your move). Movers call cartons which they pack "CP" cartons (which stands for "Carrier Packed"). You may also be interested in the fact that when a mover refers to "packing" the mover is referring to packing boxes, not the truck (movers pack boxes and they load the truck).

We often find that customer's pack boxes first without bothering to learn how to pack correctly and this is a mistake. Packing household articles into boxes is a bit of an art and we have many tutorials, FAQ's and guides which will help you learn the correct household packing methods and we hope that you will utilize the resources we have provided to help your complete your move safely and to your satisfaction.

Before I begin to address this topic, let me tell you that professional movers "pack" boxes and they "load" the moving truck. So when you talk to your mover about "packing" please understand that you are speaking about packing boxes and not loading the truck.

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